Trung Cao

Trung Cao Headhot

About the Artist

I'm a conceptual, narrative artist embracing oil painting and graphite as my favorite forms of artistic expression. I’m inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds us, and the stories of antiquity and mythology that contain within them deeper meanings as it relates to our humanity, culture, psyche, and emotion. These stories, real or imaginary, have encapsulated wisdom that we generated interpersonally and behaviorally, and therefore filled with layers of meanings that stand the test of time. I maintain figures as my primary subject matter as I use my artistic expression to transcend the individual, embrace a theme, and reach broader psychological characteristics of humanity. With deep respect and admiration for the discipline of drawing and the craft of traditional techniques, I strive not for photorealism, but a wholehearted realistic endeavor towards creativity and ingenuity in realism.


Trung Cao
Follow Hope
Oil on Canvas

About the Exhibition

Portraiture traditionally answers the need and desire to make a permanent physical record of an individual. Throughout human history, portraiture might be used to indicate beauty, wealth, and other qualities of the sitters. As an artist, I use portraiture as a means to transcend the individual, a challenge to reach broader psychological characteristics of humanity. I strive to capture a story, an emotion, a message, or a sense of aesthetic harmony. I'm inspired by our past, our culture, and our need of expressing and feeling, and to understanding life and the human spirit.

To capture an inviting mood, I create a soft-edge surrounding, guiding the viewer to lock into the serene tone and luminosity of the face with clarity and focus. The directness and simplicity of expression is intentional to let the viewers find their own interest in the perceptual space. As the viewers pass the realism and my appreciation in form, value, and color, and the subject, they might discover a lesson to be learned, an emotion to be experienced, a story to be told, or simply follow the lines, shapes, and colors that satisfy the mathematical harmony of nature I appreciate so much and incorporate into every art piece.

In contemplating portraits, we stand to gain not only the pleasure of an artistic experience, but the added value of a fuller understanding of ourselves. I’m inspired by the naturalism that surrounds us, and our rich history, mythology, and relentless hope of humanity. That inspiration is a gift that passes from one individual to another, one that can be internalized and radiate towards others through art, music, and story. What portraiture means to us through time hasn't changed, because the fundamental nature of who we are is an intrinsic factor we experience through the ages.

-Trung Cao